Weekend Reading: Darayavush the Great: Behishtun Inscription

Wikipedia: Behistun Inscription: “I am Darayavush, the great king…

…king of kings, the king of Pârsa, the king of countries, the son of Vishtashpa, the grandson of Arshama, the Haxamanishya.
King Darayavush says: My father is Vishtashpa; the father of Vishtashpa was Arshama; the father of Arshama was Ariyâramna ; the father of Ariyâramna was Tishpish; the father of Tishpish was Haxamanish.
King Darayavush says: That is why we are called Haxamanishya; from antiquity we have been noble; from antiquity has our dynasty been royal. Eight of my dynasty were kings before me; I am the ninth. Nine in succession we have been kings. By the grace of Ahuramazda am I king; Ahuramazda has granted me the kingdom.
King Darayavush says: These are the countries which are subject unto me, and by the grace of Ahuramazda I became king of them: Pârsa, Ûvja, Babirushia Bâbirušh, Athurâ, Arabia , Mudrâya, the countries by the Sea, Sparda, the Greeks Yauna, Mâda, Armina, (Arame of Urartu), Katpatuka, Parthava, Zraka, Haraiva, Uvârazmîy, Bâxtrish, Suguda, Gadâra, Saka Paradraya, Thatagush, Harauvatish, and Maka; twenty-three lands in all. These are the countries which are subject to me; by the grace of Ahuramazda they became subject to me; they brought tribute unto me. Whatsoever commands have been laid on them by me, by night or by day, have been performed by them.
King Darayavush says: Within these lands, whosoever was a friend, him have I surely protected; whosoever was hostile, him have I utterly destroyed. By the grace of Ahuramazda these lands have conformed to my decrees; as it was commanded unto them by me, so was it done. Ahuramazda has granted unto me this empire. Ahuramazda brought me help, until I gained this empire; by the grace of Ahuramazda do I hold this empire.
King Darayavush says: The following is what was done by me after I became king. A son of Karush, named Kambojie, one of our dynasty, was king here before me. That Kambojie had a brother, Bardiya by name, of the same mother and the same father as Kambojie. Afterwards, Kambojie slew this Bardiya. When Kambojie slew Bardiya, it was not known unto the people that Bardiya was slain. Thereupon Kambojie went to Mudrâya. When Kambojie had departed into Mudrâya, the people became hostile, and the lie multiplied in the land, even in Parsa and Mâda, and in the other provinces.
King Darayavush says: Afterwards, there was a certain man, a Magian, Gaumâta by name, who raised a rebellion in Paishiyauvada, in a mountain called Arakadrish. On the fourteenth day of the month Viyaxana (11 March 522 BC) did he rebel. He lied to the people, saying: ‘I am Bardiya, the son of Kurush, the brother of Kambojie.’ Then were all the people in revolt, and from Kambojie they went over unto him, both Parsa and Mada, and the other provinces. He seized the kingdom; on the ninth day of the month Garmapada (1 July 522 BC) he seized the kingdom. Afterwards, Kambojie died his own death.
King Darayavush says: The kingdom of which Gaumâta, the Magian, dispossessed Kambojie, had always belonged to our dynasty. After that Gaumâta, the Magian, had dispossessed Kambojie of Parsa and Mada, and of the other provinces, he did according to his will. He became king.
King Darayavush says: There was no man, either Parsan or Mede or of our own dynasty, who took the kingdom from Gaumâta, the Magian. The people feared him exceedingly, for he slew many who had known the real Bardiya. For this reason did he slay them, ‘that they may not know that I am not Bardiya, the son of Kurush.’ There was none who dared to act against Gaumâta, the Magian, until I came. Then I prayed to Ahuramazda; Ahuramazda brought me help. On the tenth day of the month Bâgayâdiš (29 September 522 BC) I, with a few men, slew that Gaumâta, the Magian, and the chief men who were his followers. At the stronghold called Sikayauvatiš, in the district called Nisaia in Mada, I slew him; I dispossessed him of the kingdom. By the grace of Ahuramazda I became king; Ahuramazda granted me the kingdom.
King Darayavush says: The kingdom that had been wrested from our line I brought back and I reestablished it on its foundation. The temples which Gaumâta, the Magian, had destroyed, I restored to the people, and the pasture lands, and the herds and the dwelling places, and the houses which Gaumâta, the Magian, had taken away. I settled the people in their place, the people of Parsa, and Mada, and the other provinces. I restored that which had been taken away, as is was in the days of old. This did I by the grace of Ahuramazda, I labored until I had established our dynasty in its place, as in the days of old; I labored, by the grace of Ahuramazda, so that Gaumâta, the Magian, did not dispossess our house.
King Darayavush says: This was what I did after I became king:
King Darayavush says: After I had slain Gaumâta, the Magian, a certain man named ššina, the son of Upadarma, raised a rebellion in Ûvja, and he spoke thus unto the people of Ûvja: ‘I am king in Ûvja.’ Thereupon the people of Ûvja became rebellious, and they went over unto that ššina: he became king in Ûvja. And a certain Babirushian named Nidintu-Bêl, the son of Kîn-Zêr, raised a rebellion in Babirush: he lied to the people, saying: ‘I am Nabukudracara, the son of Nabu-na-id.’ Then did all the province of Babirushia go over to Nidintu-Bêl, and Babirushia rose in rebellion. He seized on the kingdom of Babirushia (3 October 522 BC).
King Darayavush says: Then I sent (an envoy?) to Ûvja. That ššina was brought unto me in fetters, and I killed him.
King Darayavush says: Then I marched against that Nidintu-Bêl, who called himself Nabukudracara. The army of Nidintu-Bêl held the Tigris; there it took its stand, and on account of the waters (the river) was unfordable. Thereupon I supported my army on (inflated) skins, others I made dromedary-borne, for the rest I brought horses. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda we crossed the Tigris. Then did I utterly overthrow that host of Nidintu-Bêl. On the twenty-sixth day of the month Âçiyâdiya (13 December 522 BC) we joined battle.
King Darayavush says: After that I marched against Babirush. But before I reached Babirush, that Nidintu-Bêl, who called himself Nabukudracara, came with a host and offered battle at a city called Zâzâna, on the Euphrates. Then we joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did I utterly overthrow the host of Nidintu-Bêl. The enemy fled into the water; the water carried them away. On the second day of the month Anâmaka (18 December 522 BC) we joined battle.
King Darayavush says: Then did Nidintu-Bêl flee with a few horsemen into Babirush. Thereupon I marched to Babirush. By the grace of Ahuramazda I took Babirush, and captured Nidintu-Bêl. Then I slew that Nidintu-Bêl in Babirush.
King Darayavush says: While I was in Babirush, these provinces revolted from me: Parsa, Ûvja, Mada, Athurâ, Mudraya, Parthava, Marguš, Thataguš, and Saka. Revolt of Martiya of Ûvja[edit]
King Darayavush says: A certain man named Martiya, the son of Zinzakriš, dwelt in a city in Parsa called Kuganakâ. This man revolted in Ûvja, and he said to the people: ‘I am Ummaniš, king in Ûvja.’ King Darayavush says: At that time, I was friendly with Ûvja. Then there were Ûvjaites afraid of me, and that Martiya, who was their leader, they seized and slew.
King Darayavush says: A certain Mede named Fravartiš [Fravartiš] revolted in Mada, and he said to the people: ‘I am Khshathrita, of the family of Uvaxštra.’ Then did the Medes who were in the palace revolt from me and go over to Fravartiš. He became king in Mada. The Parsan and Madan army, which was with me, was small. Yet I sent forth an(other) army. A Parsan named Hydarnes, my servant, I made their leader, and I said unto him: ‘Go, smite that Madan host which does not acknowledge me.’ Then Hydarnes marched forth with the army. When he had come to Mada, at a city in Mada called Maruš, he gave battle to the Medes. He who was chief among the Medes was not there at that time. Ahuramazda brought me help: by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly defeated that rebel host. On the twenty-seventh day of the month Anâmaka (12 January 521) the battle was fought by them. Then did my army await me in a district in Mada called Kampanda, until I came into Mada.
King Darayavush says: An Armenian named Dâdarši, my servant, I sent into Armina, and I said unto him: ‘Go, smite that host which is in revolt and does not acknowledge me.’ Then Dâdarši went forth. When he came into Armina, the rebels assembled and advanced against Dâdarši to give him battle. At a place in Armenia called Zuzza they fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the eighth day of the month Thûravâhara (20 May 521 BC) the battle was fought by them.
King Darayavush says: The rebels assembled for the second time, and they advanced against Dâdarši to give him battle. At a stronghold in Armina called Tigra they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the eighteenth day of the month Thûravâhara (30 May 521 BC) the battle was fought by them.
King Darayavush says: The rebels assembled for the third time and advanced against Dâdarši to give him battle. At a stronghold in Armina called Uyamâ they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the ninth day of the month Thâigaciš (20 June 521 BC) the battle was fought by them. Then Dâdarši waited for me in Armina, until I came into Armina.
King Darayavush says: A Parsan named Vaumisa, my servant, I sent into Armina, and I said unto him: ‘Go, smite that host which is in revolt, and does not acknowledge me.’ Then Vaumisa went forth. When he had come to Armina, the rebels assembled and advanced against Vaumisa to give him battle. At a place in Athurâ called Izalâ they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the fifteenth day of the month Anâmaka (31 December 522 BC) the battle was fought by them.
King Darayavush says: The rebels assembled a second time and advanced against Vaumisa to give him battle. At a place in Armina called Autiyâra they joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. At the end of the month Thûravâhara (11 June 521 BC) the battle was fought by them. Then Vaumisa waited for me in Armina, until I came into Armina.
King Darayavush says: Then I went forth from Babirush and came into Mada. When I had come to Mada, that Fravartiš, who called himself king in Mada, came against me unto a city in Mada called Kunduruš (Kangâvar?) to offer battle. Then we joined battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda did my army utterly overthrow that rebel host. On the twenty-fifth day of the month Adukanaiša(8 May 521 BC) we fought the battle. Thereupon that Fravartiš fled thence with a few horseman to a district in Mada called Ragâ. Then I sent an army in pursuit. Fravartiš was taken and brought unto me. I cut off his nose, his ears, and his tongue, and I put out one eye, and he was kept in fetters at my palace entrance, and all the people beheld him. Then did I crucify him in Hagmatâna; and the men who were his foremost followers, those at Hagmatâna within the fortress, I flayed and hung out their hides, stuffed with straw.
King Darayavush says: A man named Ciçataxma, a Sagartian, revolted from me, saying to his people: ‘I am king in Asagarta, of the family of Uvaxštra.’ Then I sent forth a Parsan and a Madan army. A Mede named Takhmaspâda, my servant, I made their leader, and I said unto him: ‘Go, smite that host which is in revolt, and does not acknowledge me.’
Thereupon Takhmaspâda went forth with the army, and he fought a battle with Ciçataxma. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly defeated that rebel host, and they seized Ciçataxma and brought him unto me. Afterwards I cut off both his nose and ears, and put out one eye, he was kept bound at my palace entrance, all the people saw him. Afterwards I crucified him in Arbela.
King Darayavush says: This is what was done by me in Mada.
King Darayavush says: The Parthavans and Varkâna revolted from me, and they declared themselves on the side of Fravartiš. My father Vishtashpa was in Parthava; and the people forsook him; they became rebellious. Then Vishtashpa marched forth with the troops which had remained faithful. At a city in Parthava called Višpauzâtiš he fought a battle with the Parthavans. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly defeated that rebel host. On the second day of the month Viyaxana (8 March 521) the battle was fought by them.
King Darayavush says: Then did I send a Parsan army unto Vishtashpa from Ragâ. When that army reached Vishtashpa, he marched forth with the host. At a city in Parthava called Patigrabanâ he gave battle to the rebels. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda Vishtashpa utterly defeated that rebel host. On the first day of the month Garmapada (11 July 521) the battle was fought by them.
King Darayavush says: Then was the province mine. This is what was done by me in Parthava.
King Darayavush says: The province called Marguš revolted against me. A certain Margian named Frâda they made their leader. Then sent I against him a Parsan named Dâdarši, my servant, who was satrap of Bâxtriya, and I said unto him: ‘Go, smite that host which does not acknowledge me.’ Then Dâdarši went forth with the army, and gave battle to the Margians. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly overthrew that rebel host. Of the twenty-third day of the month Âçiyâdiya (28 December 521) was the battle fought by them.
King Darayavush says: Then was the province mine. This is what was done by me in Bâxtriya.
King Darayavush says: A certain man named Vahyazdâta dwelt in a city called Târavâ in a district in Parsa called Vautiyâ. This man rebelled for the second time in Parsa, and thus he spoke unto the people: ‘I am Bardiya, the son of Kurush.’ Then the Parsan people who were in the palace fell away from allegiance. They revolted from me and went over to that Vahyazdâta. He became king in Parsa. Then did I send out the Parsan and the Madan army which was with me. A Parsan named Artavardiya, my servant, I made their leader. The rest of the Parsan army came unto me in Mada. Then went Artavardiya with the army unto Parsa. When he came to Parsa, at a city in Parsa called Rakhâ, that Vahyazdâta, who called himself Bardiya, advanced with the army against Artavardiya to give him battle. They then fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my host utterly overthrew the army of Vahyazdâta. On the twelfth day of the month Thûravâhara (24 May 521) was the battle fought by them.
King Darayavush says: Then that Vahyazdâta fled thence with a few horsemen unto Pishiyâuvâda. From that place he went forth with an army a second time against Artavardiya to give him battle. At a mountain called Parga they fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my host utterly overthrew the army of Vahyazdâta. On the fifth day of the month Garmapada (15 July 521) was the battle fought by them. And they seized that Vahyazdâta, and the men who were his chief followers were also seized. Then did I crucify that Vahyazdâta and the men who were his chief followers in a city in Parsa called Uvâdaicaya.
King Darayavush says: This is what was done by me in Parsa.
King Darayavush says: That Vahyazdâta, who called himself Bardiya, sent men to Harauvati against a Parsan named Vivâna, my servant, the satrap of Harauvati. He appointed a certain man to be their leader, and thus he spoke to him, saying: ‘Go smite Vivâna and the host which acknowledges king Darayavush!’ Then that army that Vahyazdâta had sent marched against Vivâna to give him battle. At a fortress called Kapiša-kaniš they fought the battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly overthrew that rebel host. On the thirteenth day of the month Anâmaka (29 December 522) was the battle fought by them.
King Darayavush says: The rebels assembled a second time and went out against Vivâna to give him battle. At a place called Gandutava they fought a battle. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly overthrew that rebel host. On the seventh day of the month Viyaxana (21 February 521) the battle was fought by them.
King Darayavush says: The man who was commander of that army that Vahyazdâta had sent forth against Vivâna fled thence with a few horsemen. They went to a fortress in Harauvati called Aršâdâ. Then Vivâna with the army marched after them on foot. There he seized him, and he slew the men who were his chief followers.
King Darayavush says: Then was the province mine. This is what was done by me in Harauvati.
King Darayavush says: While I was in Parsa and in Mada, the Babirushians revolted from me a second time. A certain man named Arakha, an Armenian, son of Haldita, rebelled in Babirush. At a place called Dubâla, he lied unto the people, saying: ‘I am Nabukudracara, the son of Nabu-na-id.’ Then did the Babirushian people revolt from me and they went over to that Arakha. He seized Babirush, he became king in Babirush.
King Darayavush says: Then did I send an army unto Babirush. A Parsan named Intaphrenes [Vidafarnâ], my servant, I appointed as their leader, and thus I spoke unto them: ‘Go, smite that Babirushian host which does not acknowledge me.’ Then Intaphrenes marched with the army unto Babirush. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda Intaphrenes overthrew the Babirushians and brought over the people unto me. On the twenty-second day of the month Markâsanaš (27 November) they seized that Arakha who called himself Nabukudracara, and the men who were his chief followers. Then I made a decree, saying: ‘Let that Arakha and the men who were his chief followers be crucified in Babirush!’
King Darayavush says: This is what was done by me in Babirush.
King Darayavush says: This is what I have done. By the grace of Ahuramazda have I always acted. After I became king, I fought nineteen battles in a single year and by the grace of Ahuramazda I overthrew nine kings and I made them captive.
One was named Gaumâta, the Magian; he lied, saying ‘I am Bardiya, the son of Kurush.’ He made Parsa to revolt.
Another was named ššina, the Ûvjaite; he lied, saying: ‘I am king the king of Ûvja.’ He made Ûvja to revolt.
Another was named Nidintu-Bêl, the Babirushian; he lied, saying: ‘I am Nabukudracara, the son of Nabu-na-id.’ He made Babirush to revolt.
Another was named Martiya, the Parsan; he lied, saying: ‘I am Ummanniš, the king of Ûvja.’ He made Ûvja to revolt.
Another was Fravartiš, the Mede Mâda; he lied, saying: ‘I am Khshathrita, of the dynasty of Uvaxštra.’ He made Mada to revolt.
Another was Ciçataxma , the Sagartian; he lied, saying: ‘I am king in Sagartia, of the dynasty of Uvaxštra.’ He made Sagartia to revolt.
Another was named Frâda, of Margiana; he lied, saying: ‘I am king of Marguš.’ He made Marguš to revolt.
Another was Vahyazdâta, a Parsan; he lied, saying: ‘I am Bardiya, the son of Kurush.’ He made Parsa to revolt.
Another was Arakha, an Armenian; he lied, saying: ‘I am Nabukudracara, the son of Nabu-na-id.’ He made Babirush to revolt.
King Darayavush says: These nine king did I capture in these wars. As to these provinces which revolted, lies made them revolt, so that they deceived the people. Then Ahuramazda delivered them into my hand; and I did unto them according to my will.
King Darayavush says: You who shall be king hereafter, protect yourself vigorously from lies; punish the liars well, if thus you shall think, ‘May my country be secure!’
King Darayavush says: This is what I have done, by the grace of Ahuramazda have I always acted. Whosoever shall read this inscription hereafter, let that which I have done be believed. You must not hold it to be lies. I call Ahuramazda to witness that is true and not lies; all of it have I done in a single year.
King Darayavush says: By the grace of Ahuramazda I did much more, which is not graven in this inscription. On this account it has not been inscribed lest he who shall read this inscription hereafter should then hold that which has been done by me to be excessive and not believe it and takes it to be lies.
King Darayavush says: Those who were the former kings, as long as they lived, by them was not done thus as by the favor of Ahuramazda was done by me in one and the same year. Now let what has been done by me convince you. For the sake of the people, do not conceal it. If you do not conceal this edict but if you publish it to the world, then may Ahuramazda be your friend, may your family be numerous, and may you live long.
King Darayavush says: If you conceal this edict and do not publish it to the world, may Ahuramazda slay you and may your house cease.
King Darayavush says: This is what I have done in one single year; by the grace of Ahuramazda have I always acted. Ahuramazda brought me help, and the other gods, all that there are.
King Darayavush says: On this account Ahuramazda brought me help, and all the other gods, all that there are, because I was not wicked, nor was I a liar, nor was I a despot, neither I nor any of my family. I have ruled according to righteousness. Neither to the weak nor to the powerful did I do wrong. Whosoever helped my house, him I favored; he who was hostile, him I destroyed.
King Darayavush says: You who may be king hereafter, whosoever shall be a liar or a rebel, or shall not be friendly, punish him!
King Darayavush says: You who shall hereafter see this tablet, which I have written, or these sculptures, do not destroy them, but preserve them so long as you live!
King Darayavush says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, and shall not destroy them, but shall preserve them as long as your line endures, then may Ahuramazda be your friend, and may your family be numerous. Live long, and may Ahuramazda make fortunate whatsoever you do.
King Darayavush says: If you shall behold this inscription or these sculptures, and shall destroy them and shall not preserve them so long as your line endures, may Ahuramazda slay you, may your family come to nought, and may Ahuramazda destroy whatever you do!
King Darayavush says: These are the men who were with me when I slew Gaumâta the Magian, who was called Bardiya; then these men helped me as my followers: Vidafarnâ, son of Vayâspâra, a Parsan; Utâna, son of Thuxra, a Parsan; Gaubaruva, son of Marduniya, a Parsan; Vidarna, son of Bagâbigna, a Parsan; Bagabuxša, son of Dâtuvahya, a Parsan; Ardumaniš, son of Vakauka, a Parsan.
King Darayavush says: You who may be king hereafter, protect the family of these men.
King Darayavush says: By the grace of Ahuramazda this is the inscription which I have made. Besides, it was in Aryan script, and it was composed on clay tablets and on parchment. Besides, a sculptured figure of myself I made. Besides, I made my lineage. And it was inscribed and was read off before me. Afterwards this inscription I sent off everywhere among the provinces. The people unitedly worked upon it.
King Darayavush says: The following is what I did in the second and third year of my rule. The province called Ûvja revolted from me. An Ûvjaite named Atamaita they made their leader. Then I sent an army unto Ûvja. A Parsan named Gaubaruva, my servant, I made their leader. Then Gaubaruva set forth with the army; he delivered battle against the Ûvjaites. Then Gaubaruva destroyed many of the host and that Atamaita, their leader, he captured, and he brought him unto me, and I killed him. Then the province became mine.
King Darayavush says: Those Ûvjaites were faithless and Ahuramazda was not worshipped by them. I worshipped Ahuramazda; by the grace of Ahuramazda I did unto them according to my will.

Originally published at www.bradford-delong.com.